Today, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced that U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) will chair the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European Affairs. The subcommittee oversees matters concerning European nations, and focuses on issues related to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Murphy released the following statement on his chairmanship:
I'm proud to be a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and I'm honored to be named chairman of the Subcommittee on European Affairs. The United States and the European Union have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, and this subcommittee will provide me with opportunities to strengthen this transatlantic relationship. Europe and the United States represent nearly half of the world's gross domestic product, and nearly one third of the world's trade. However, there are remaining obstacles to trade that must be removed so that our partnership can be even more robust.
Specifically, I'll work hard to update any export policies that do not meet the needs of our economy, especially our economy's manufacturing sector. Some of our strongest Connecticut companies like Sikorsky, General Electric, and FuelCell Energy depend on our relationship with Europe to help them create jobs, and I look forward to representing their interests as chair of this subcommittee. Despite the economic difficulties Europe has faced recently, there is real potential to grow and strengthen the United States' relationship with the region. I look forward to working with our European partners in my new role.